Controversial Encounter Between Perth Amboy Police, Juveniles Riding Bicycles Caught On Camera

A controversial encounter between police and a group of kids riding bicycles in New Jersey was caught on video. Officers detained a juvenile who was part of a bike rideout on the streets of Perth Amboy; CBS2's Lisa Rozner reports.

Video Transcript

- A controversial encounter caught on video between police and a group of kids riding bicycles in New Jersey.

- Officers detained a juvenile who was part of a bike rideout on the streets of Perth Amboy. CBS2's Lisa Rozner has more.

LISA ROZNER: This edited GoPro video shows a group of bike riders popping wheelies, crossing yellow lines, running lights, and cutting off cars. Eventually, Perth Amboy police follow.

- Stop right there.

LISA ROZNER: They keep going until several police cars surround them. An officer warns them to be more careful and that they must get licenses for the bikes per city law. A short time later, though, a sergeant arrives and says she already warned them.

- Nobody heard you.

- Get off the bike.

LISA ROZNER: The bikes are confiscated, and the juvenile in the red hoodie, who says he's from nearby Edison, is taken into custody. A friend claims it was for being disrespectful. But Amol Sinha of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey says it went too far.

AMOL SINHA: Such an outsized police response for something that seems to be a minor infraction, it's those minor law enforcement interactions that can lead to tragic outcomes for people of color.

LISA ROZNER: We tried to speak with the police department about the incident, but they referred us to the mayor's office.

The mayor's office did not respond to a request for comment. But the Middlesex County prosecutor now says the incident is under review in conjunction with police. Perth Amboy council president William Petrick saw the video and believes officers acted professionally. He explains the bike license.

WILLIAM PETRICK: It cost about $0.50 a year to register your bike. And that way, if it's stolen and recovered, then you can get it back because the police now know it's yours.

LISA ROZNER: Others disagree with it.

JOHN WISNIEWSKI: We want to make sure people can recover stolen bicycles. But in practice, to say to somebody, I'm going to enforce it, when you don't live in my community, that's where it becomes problematic.

LISA ROZNER: The end of the video shows the sergeant returning the bikes, and she explains they just want them to stop the dangerous stunts. In Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Lisa Rozner, "CBS2 News."

- The city has had the bike license law on the books for several decades, but no one could tell us how many people actually register their bikes.